[This monastery, now in ruins, is situated on the right bank of the Nile, a good hour’s walk to the north of ANTINOOPOLIS. There were also on the edge of the river some cells fitted up with a in caves in the cliffs that overhang the river.]


The monastery of Dayr al-Dik is cited, but without any name, in the atlas of the Description d’Egypte (1821-1829, pl. 14; Wilkinson, 1843, Vol. 2, p. 57; Maspero, 1891, p. 521).

On the other hand, the excavations by GAYET in 1898-1899 in “the cemetery of Deir al-Dyk” were made farther to the south, in the necropolis placed at the foot of the DAYR AL-NASARA, the confusion between the two place-names having already been made by Wilkinson (1843, Vol. 2, pp. 60-61; see the descriptions of Lefebvre, 1910, pp. 260-70; Leclercq, 1907-1939, Vol. 4, cols. 2501ff.)

The rock of the laura was described by J. CLÉDAT (1902, pp. 68-69). Some inscriptions were collected and published by S. Donadoni (1959, pp. 479-87). The whole was described by O. Meinardus (1977, p. 369) and above all by M. Martin (1971); C. E. Walters (1974, p. 108) proposed to see in the series of the great quarries, which no doubt sheltered the communal services of the laura, a simple similar to those of ISNA or KELLIA. But the much greater dimensions and the complexity of the whole are against this.

The laura may date from the sixth century, but the monastery is without doubt later. Neither ABU THE ARMENIAN nor al- MAQRIZI seems to have known it. Probably it had already been destroyed or abandoned well before the thirteenth century with the decline of Antinoopolis.


  • Clédat, J. “Notes archéologiques et philologiques.” Bulletin de l’Institut français d’Archéologie orientale 1 (1901):87-97; 2 (1902):41-70.
  • Description de l’Egypte. Paris, 1821-1829.
  • Donadoni, S. “Epigrafia minore di Antinoë.” In Studi in onore di Calderini e Paribeni, Vol. 2, pp. 479-87. Milan, 1959.
  • Gayet, A. Le Costume en Egypte du IIIe au XIIIe siècle. Paris, 1900. Leclerq, H. “Egypte.” In Dictionnaire d’archéologie chrétienne et de liturgie, Vol. 4, pt. 2, ed. F. Cabrol. Paris, 1907-1939.
  • Lefebvre, G. “Egypte chrétienne.” Annales du Service des antiquités de l’Egypte 10 (1910):260-84.
  • Martin, M. La Laure de Der al Dik à Antinoé. Bibliothèque des études coptes 8. Cairo, 1971.
  • Maspero, G. “Notes au jour le jour.” Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 13 (1891): 298-315, 407-37, 496-525. Meinardus, O. Christian Egypt, Ancient and Modern, 2nd ed. Cairo, 1977.
  • Walters, C. C. Monastic in Egypt. Warminster, 1974. Wilkinson, G. Egypt and Thebes, Vols. 1-2. London, 1843.




A late Roman military camp is situated close to the river; extensive sections of its surrounding wall, with its rounded corners, as well as parts of the buildings inside, have been preserved. It would appear that after the ARAB CONQUEST OF EGYPT the complex was converted into a monastery. From the first period, remainders of the living quarters on the north wall and a cruciform apsidal structure with four square rooms in the corners have survived. From the monastery period comes a single-aisle hall, which still remains standing and which is subdivided into a number of bays by transverse walls projecting from both sides. Some 110 yards (100 m) east of the camp on the upper mountain slope are numerous quarry caves that in the period were converted by monks into living quarters and small chapels. There can be no doubt that these monks were connected with the later inhabitants of Dayr al-Dik or settled there themselves after the departure of the troops.


  • Grossmann, P. “Neue frühchristliche Funde Ägypten.” Actes du XIe congrès international d’archèologie chrètienne, Lyon, 21-28 septembre 1986, Vol. 2, p. 1870, fig. 11. Paris, 1989.
  • Martin, M. La Laure de Dêr al Dîk a Antinoé. Bibliothèque des études coptes 8. Cairo, 1971.